Now You’re Talking! Why The Art Of Conversation Is Still Valuable In A Digital World
Monday, August 10th, 2015
Our Edinburgh PR agency believes that talk isn’t cheap
WHEN you have an exciting announcement to make or a tantalising tale to tell, it is understandable to want to shout it to the world as quickly and eagerly as possible.
In a hasty bid to broadcast your news, you update your Facebook friends, tip off the Twittosphere, Snapchat your schoolmates, clue in your colleagues and damn near purchase a carrier pigeon before you promptly compose yourself.
Where we once sought out a face-to-face meet up or a phone call to keep companions and clients in the loop, we now opt for the ‘silence is golden’ attitude and use any available form of indirect communication without seriously considering the impact this voiceless correspondence may produce.
When it comes to the world of media communications, when is it time to stop typing and to stop keeping schtum and start talking?
GOOD PR COMES IN SAYING IT WITH WORDS
Though it is undeniably advantageous for companies of any kind to embrace social channels, this can often prove counterproductive in certain circumstances.
In PR in particular, there is a need to navigate a path through the competing interests of using digital communication and good, old fashioned conversation by telephones.
Here at our Edinburgh PR agency Holyrood PR, we know that delivering success for clients requires being agile and being able to fit together the requisite parts in a cohesive way.
I have worked in previous office situations in which it was openly encouraged to discuss any simple questions or queries by email, Facebook messenger or Twitter; in fact anything but voiced conversation, which was seemingly forbidden. Of course, you would then have to wait a good 20 minutes for a response as your message got inevitably lost in a colleague’s inbox.
TALK ISN’T CHEAP
Another issue with non-speak conversation is that it can be rather difficult to convey the general tone of a message. In the same way that Autocorrect has achieved online fame for its inadvertent innuendos and misplaced syntax, mistakenly emailing ‘JOHN, DID YOU GET THAT PRESS RELEASE??’ may render you somewhat unhinged and dangerous.
Trying to translate your own personality by way of digital communication can be equally troublesome, with a rushed email coming across as insensitive or cold to those on the receiving end.
Communication is key in the media industry (and, of course, in many other sectors), but is not necessarily viewed as such by training courses.
Indeed, many of today’s graduates leave University bubbling with excess knowledge (yes, I can navigate the Dewey Decimal System, thank you very much) but somewhat lacking in the crucial conversational social skills necessary to survive your standard desk job.
HELLO, IS IT ME YOU ARE LOOKING FOR?
I have witnessed terror-stricken trainees stutter, stumble then subsequently hang the phone up on bewildered journalists and I, myself, did once topple off my chair in a needless panic while ringing up a reporter… But that was many moons ago, of course.
And, of course, again at Holyrood PR we like to think that having media contacts means more than just having the telephone number for the business editor at The Scotsman. We know the importance of avoiding the press pitfalls by dealing with a PR agency with a bulging media contacts book.
Should your business trust journalists in a tarnished media
Digitally-connected workplaces are here to stay and it would be entirely unjust to suggest that this transition has killed the art of conversation; social media messaging is simply the cave painting of our generation.
However, this does not mean to say that we should choose to hide behind a screen forever more and point black refuse to pick up a receiver ever again.
When it comes down to it, preserving these so-called old-fashioned communication methods is up to the individual.
However, my advice to anyone in PR is that before you email, Tweet or desperately snap a selfie with a press release and tag a journalist in it on Instagram, think about whether this is likely to be an effective method of contact?
If the answer is no (which it should be – especially if you’ve reached the Instagram stage) then perhaps a simple, five minute phone call would be a better option. You never know, you may even have a surprisingly great conversation.
At Holyrood PR, we know how important all types of communication are to your business
Our Edinburgh PR team practice what we preach. We’re always happy to be on the other end of the phone or, better yet, to meet up in person for a chat. So if you would like to know what PR could do for your business, just fill in the contact form below to say hello – we’re a friendly bunch!
Private: Alicia Simpson
The profile and biography of public relations professional Alicia Simpson, a junior account executive with award-winning Scottish public relations agency, Holyrood PR in Edinburgh.View Private:'s Profile
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